The Info List - Battle Of Fayal

--- Advertisement ---

American victory;

British attacks repulsed American brig scuttled to prevent capture


 United States United Kingdom

Commanders and leaders

Samuel Chester Reid Robert Loyd William Matterface  †


Land: 3 artillery pieces 1 shore battery Sea: 1 brig 1 brig-sloop 12 armed boats Royal Navy
Royal Navy
sailors Royal Marine infantry

Casualties and losses

2 killed 7 wounded 1 brig scuttled to prevent capture 36 killed 93 wounded 2 armed boats sunk 2 armed boats captured 1 brig-sloop damaged

v t e

American South in the War of 1812

Creek War 1st Fort Bowyer Fayal Pensacola 13 December 1814 Lake Borgne New Orleans British post on the Apalachicola River (1814–1815) Nicolls' Outpost Fort St. Philip Fort Peter 2nd Fort Bowyer

v t e

Naval battles of the War of 1812

Atlantic Ocean

USS Essex vs HMS Alert USS Constitution vs HMS Guerriere Capture of HMS Frolic USS United States
United States
vs HMS Macedonian USS Constitution vs HMS Java Sinking of HMS Peacock Rappahannock River Capture of USS Chesapeake Capture of HMS Dominica Capture of USS Argus Capture of HMS Boxer Capture of USS Frolic Capture of HMS Epervier Sinking of HMS Reindeer Sinking of HMS Avon Fayal Capture of USS President Capture of HMS Cyane and HMS Levant Capture of HMS Penguin Capture of East India Company ship Nautilus

East Coast

Chesapeake Bay Alexandria Baltimore Hampden Fort Peter

Great Lakes
Great Lakes
/ Saint Lawrence River

Lake Ontario 1st Sacket's Harbor York Fort George 2nd Sacket's Harbor Lake Erie Fort Oswego Lake Huron Lake Champlain

West Indies
West Indies
/ Gulf Coast

La Guaira 1st Fort Bowyer Action of 13 December 1814 Lake Borgne New Orleans Fort St. Philip 2nd Fort Bowyer

Pacific Ocean

James Island Charles Island Nuku Hiva Downes Expedition Porter Expedition Typee Valley Valparaíso (capture of USS Essex) Seringapatam Mutiny Action of 9 May 1814

The Battle of Fayal[1] was an engagement fought in September 1814 during the war between the United States
United States
and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
at the Portuguese colony of Fayal in the Azores. Three British warships and several boats filled with sailors and marines under assignment for the Louisiana
Campaign attacked an American privateer in port. After repulsing two attacks from British troops and sailors, killing one of their commanders, the Americans won a tactical victory but scuttled their ship the following morning to prevent it from being captured.[2]


1 Background 2 Battle 3 See also 4 Notes 5 References 6 External links

Background[edit] The Royal Navy
Royal Navy
ship HMS Plantagenet of seventy-four guns, commanded by Captain Robert Loyd, was sailing to the West Indies
West Indies
with the thirty-eight gun frigate HMS Rota and the eighteen gun brig-sloop HMS Carnation for the Louisiana
Campaign. On the night of September 26, the three were in company and cruising in Fayal Roads when they spotted the Baltimore Clipper
Baltimore Clipper
General Armstrong, a brig of seven guns with a complement of about ninety men. She was commanded by Captain Samuel Chester Reid
Samuel Chester Reid
who was not prepared to surrender his ship. Captain Loyd ordered that a pinnace under Lieutenant
Robert Faussett be sent from the Plantagenet to ascertain the nationality of the stranger in port. When the British came within gun range of the American vessel and requested that its crew identify themselves, Captain Reid declared that he would fire if the British came any closer.[3][4] Battle[edit]

"Night battle of the Privateer
General Armstrong of New York" by Emanuel Leutze.

According to British reports, Lieutenant
Faussett was unable to stop his boat in the rough tide water and it drifted too close to the General Armstrong. The Americans then opened fire with their long 9-pounders and scored hits on the pinnace. Two men were killed and seven others wounded before it was able to retire out of range.[5] Carnation then immediately moved in and anchored in front of the American schooner to begin negotiations for a solution to the problem. When discussions failed and now that the General Armstrong had fired the first shot in a neutral port, Carnation cut her cable and lowered four boats filled with heavily armed men and headed towards Captain Reid as he maneuvered his ship closer to shore. The first attack came at about 8:00 pm and when the American observed the incoming boats they maneuvered again to receive them. In the following skirmish, Carnation was kept out of range by enemy fire and the boats were repulsed with a loss estimated by Reid to be twenty dead and twenty wounded. One American was killed and another wounded.[6][7] At about 9:00 pm, twelve boats armed with carronades and filled with 180 marines and sailors from the Plantagenet and the Rota were towed into battle by the Carnation, which stopped out of gun range. There the boats divided into three divisions for another attack. Lieutenant William Matterface commanded the boats and Carnation was directed to provide covering fire. Loyd anchored the Rota and the Plantagenet a few miles away and they did not participate in the engagement. Just after 9:00 pm the British headed forward, the boats advanced but accurate American fire and the current kept the Carnation from closing the range and she was damaged. It took Lieutenant
Matterface until about 12:00 am for his boats to reach the General Armstrong, largely due to the current but partly because of where Loyd had stopped his ships. While the Americans were waiting they offloaded three of their cannon and erected a battery so when the British arrived, a boarding was attempted but the American gunners sank two of the British boats before they could get close, captured two more and killed many of the boarders with swords and musketry at point blank range. Lieutenant Matterface and several other officers were killed and no one of sufficient rank survived to lead the remaining Britons.[8][9]

"The Privateer
General Armstrong Captain S. C. Reid Commander. Which fought a thrilling battle in the Harbor of Fayal."

Altogether thirty-six sailors of the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
and Royal Marines were killed in action, another ninety-three were wounded. The main action lasted over a half hour and only two Americans were killed and seven wounded in total, including Reid who was hit with a musket ball. Reid's men fired nails, knife blades, brass buttons and other makeshift projectiles from their cannon which reportedly caused severe pain to the surviving British. After being repulsed the British slowly rowed back to their ships and it was 2:00 am on September 27 when they found them. Captain Loyd's response to the defeat was to send the Carnation back to destroy the General Armstrong after daylight but when she arrived, American fire caused further damage so Carnation broke off the attack. A little later the Carnation appeared again but Captain Reid had already chosen to scuttle his brig by firing one of his swivel guns straight through the hull. The vessel was boarded while it was sinking and the British set the sails on fire. Reid and his crew escaped to the shore. The British wanted to land a detachment to search for the Americans but the Portuguese governor prevented them from doing this.[10] Captain Reid and the crew of General Armstrong were credited with helping delay the British attack on New Orleans
New Orleans
and when they returned to America they were greeted as heroes.[11][12] However, later analysis showed that this was not the case.[13] The above historical version, and similar accounts, on the Battle of Fayal are disputed by scholars. An English eye-witness and numerous official reports from the American embassy and Portuguese records claim that the British squadron fully intended to seize the General Armstrong illegally and surreptitiously. Nor would it have made sense for the British to send fully armed launches simply to ascertain the identity of the Armstrong. This could have been easily done by contacting their own consulate or the American consulate, or simply sending a peace delegation to the ship when it was in dock.[14] See also[edit]

Battle of Rappahannock River Battle of Doro Passage


^ http://bobrowen.com/nymas/warof1812paper/paperrevised2006.html ^ James, pp.223-224 ^ James, p.223 ^ Coggeshall, pp.378-379 ^ James, pg. 224 ^ James, p. 224 ^ Coggeshall, pp. 378–379 ^ James, p.224 ^ Coggeshall, pp.378-379 ^ James, p.224 ^ Coggeshall, pp. 378–379 ^ James, p. 224 ^ http://bobrowen.com/nymas/warof1812paper/paperrevised2006.html ^ Exploit at Fayal; Wallace C. Baker; AMerican Heritage Magazine vol 10 issue 4 June 1959 / The Manhattan and de La Salle Monthly edited by John Savage 1875 vol. II July to Dec. pg 149


Coggeshall, George (1856). History of the American privateers: and letters-of-marque, during our war with England in the years 1812, '13, and '14. Interspersed with several naval battles between American and British ships-of-war. Coggeshall Publishing.  James, William; Frederick Chamier (1859). The naval history of Great Britain, from the declaration of war by France in 1793, to the accession of George IV. London, England: R. Bently Publishing.  Roosevelt, Theodore (1882). The Naval War of 1812
War of 1812
Or the History of the United States
United States
Navy during the Last War with Great Britain to Which Is Appended an Account of the Battle of New Orleans. New York: Modern Library. ISBN 0-375-75419-9.  Bettencourt, José; Márcia Dutra Pinto, eds. (1859). The Wonderful Battle of the Brig
Gen. Armstrong at Faial, 1814: No Bicentário do combate naval corrido na Baía da Horta a 27 Setembro de 1814. Faial, Portugal: OMA-Observatório do Mar dos Açores. ISBN 978-989-98132-9-8. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)

v t e

Conflicts of the War of 1812

Battles of the War of 1812

United States

Washington, D.C.

Burning of Washington


Battle of Fort Peter


Battle of New Orleans Siege of Fort St. Philip


Battle of Baltimore Battle of Bladensburg Battle of Caulk's Field Battle of North Point Battle of St. Michaels Raid on Havre de Grace


Battle of Hampden

New York

Battle of Big Sandy Creek Battle of Buffalo Battle of Ogdensburg Battle of Plattsburgh Capture of Fort Niagara Raid on Black Rock Second Battle of Sacket's Harbor


Battle of Fort Stephenson Copus massacre Siege of Fort Meigs


Battle of Craney Island Raid on Alexandria Skirmish at Farnham Church Battle of Rappahannock River

U.S. territories


Battles of Fort Bowyer


Battle of Fort Dearborn Battle of Rock Island Rapids Siege of Prairie du Chien


Battle of the Mississinewa Battle of Tippecanoe Battle of Wild Cat Creek Siege of Fort Harrison Siege of Fort Wayne


Battle of Brownstown Battle of Frenchtown Battle of Mackinac Island Battle of Maguaga Siege of Detroit Siege of Fort Mackinac


Battle of Burnt Corn Battle of Callabee Creek Canoe Fight Battle of Holy Ground Battle of Horseshoe Bend Battle of Talladega Battle of Tallushatchee Battles of Emuckfaw and Enotachopo Creek Fort Mims massacre Kimbell–James Massacre


Battle of Credit Island Battle of the Sink Hole

British North America

Lower Canada

Battle of the Chateauguay First Battle of Lacolle Mills Second Battle of Lacolle Mills

Upper Canada

Battle of Beaver Dams Battle of Chippawa Battle of Cook's Mills Battle of Crysler's Farm Battle of Fort George Battle of Frenchman's Creek Battle of Longwoods Battle of Lundy's Lane Battle of Malcolm's Mills Battle of Queenston Heights Battle of Stoney Creek Battle of the Thames Battle of York Capture of Fort Erie Raid on Elizabethtown Raid on Port Dover Raid on Gananoque Siege of Fort Erie

Spanish Empire

Spanish Florida

Battle of Pensacola

Naval battles

Atlantic Ocean

Capture of HMS Boxer Capture of HMS Cyane Capture of HMS Epervier Capture of HMS Frolic Capture of HMS Penguin Capture of HMS Dominica Capture of USS Argus Capture of USS Chesapeake Capture of USS President Chesapeake Bay Flotilla USS Constitution vs HMS Java Sinking of HMS Avon Battle of Fayal Sinking of HMS Peacock Sinking of HMS Reindeer USS Constitution vs HMS Guerriere USS United States
United States
vs HMS Macedonian

Caribbean Sea

Battle of La Guaira

Great Lakes

Battle of Lake Erie Battle of Fort Oswego Engagements on Lake Huron Engagements on Lake Ontario First Battle of Sacket's Harbor

Gulf Coast

Action of 13 December 1814 Battle of Lake Borgne

Pacific Ocean

Action off James Island Action off Charles Island Nuku Hiva Campaign Battle of Valparaiso (Capture of USS Essex)

See also: American Indian Wars, Creek War, Napoleonic Wars, and Tecumseh's War

Category Portal

 definition  textbooks  quotes  source texts  media  news stories

External links[edit]

American Privateers in The War Of 1812: Examines the myths and facts behind Captain Samuel Reid's sea battle in the Azores
and whether Reid's action actually delayed the British squadron and aided General Jackson's defense of